Borough of Jersey Shore
As the first access project in Pennsylvania, the Chesapeake Conservancy is working with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and the Borough of Jersey Shore to create a waterfront park on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the historic town of Jersey Shore.
The total frontage, comprised of three contiguous parcels of land, will be converted into a waterfront park and public access point that will connect the town to the river. It will offer safe recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and sightseeing for residents and visitors alike and will be the only access site along this 17- mile stretch of the West Branch.
The site will be managed by the Borough and will complement recreational opportunities and long term conservation efforts by the North Central Pennsylvania Conservancy along Pine Creek Rail Trail and provide another link in the state’s largest greenway, the Susquehanna Greenway. Projects are already underway to improve bike/pedestrian connections between the Pine Creek Trail and the new access site. The site will also complement conservation efforts along Pine Creek to protect its wealth of biodiversity, including bald eagle, river otter, bobcat, and brook trout, and important habitats.
The Conservancy helped secure the final funds needed to bring this project to fruition. The funds will be matched 1:1 by the donation of a twenty-five year lease over abutting frontage of similar value by the Jersey Shore State Bank.
The park will also be designated by the National Park Service as an official access point to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and will receive appropriate signage to that affect.
The people of Jersey Shore have long wanted a public river access and park, but until now there has not been willing sellers, or adequate funding for the project. Acquisition of these three land parcels creates great opportunities for the town to connect with the river, for the North Central Pennsylvania Conservancy to expand recreational opportunities on Pine Creek, for the Chesapeake Conservancy to fill a gap for access along the John Smith Trail, and for Susquehanna Greenway Partnership to add another link in Pennsylvania’s largest greenway.